If you have a glass-top stove, you may have wondered why the rest of the glass stays cool when you have only one burner turned on. Linda Pinckney can explain why. Pinckney, an ACerS Fellow, has worked for Corning Inc. for more than 27 years in the field of glass–ceramic materials. Glass–ceramics combine the best of both worlds by carefully controlling the growth of crystals during the reheating of glass (often seeded with nucleating additives). Glass-top stoves are one example. So is Corning Wear and other similar heat resistant nonmetallic cookware. Pinckney also discusses examples of biocompatible and bioactive glass–ceramics.
In the case of stove tops and cookware, researchers and engineers take advantage of the thermomechanical properties of glass–ceramics that provide considerable strength even while be subjected to extremes of very low and very high temperatures.